Chancellor's Recent Speeches

Remarks by Dr. Charles B. Reed
Chancellor, California State University
CSU Tourism Forum
Pomona, CA
June 2, 2005

Thank you, President Ortiz – and thanks to you and your staff for all the work that you did in putting together this event.

Last fall the California State University came out with an important report on the impact that our university system has on the many industries around California. We were able to quantify the impact that our 23 campuses have around the state – and it’s a major impact. But we also learned that a great deal of the information was a surprise to many people.

Many people don’t realize the vast impact that our university system has on our state. So we decided to have a series of conversations, like this one, with our industry leaders around the state.

We convened today’s session because want to learn from you how we can prepare more students to work in tourism and hospitality. We chose Cal Poly Pomona as the site for this discussion because of the prominence of the Collins School – and because it embodies the diversity of our dynamic state.

CSU Impact and Contributions

I’d like to begin with a few words on the California State University. The CSU is the country’s largest four-year university system with nearly 400,000 students.

It is the most diverse, with minority enrollment at over 53 percent, and it is one of the most affordable, with some of the lowest student fees in the country.

The CSU graduates nearly 80,000 students each year into California's workforce.

We prepare 58 percent of California’s Hispanic graduates, 52 percent of its African-American graduates, 53 percent of its Native American graduates, and 39 percent of its Asian/Pacific Islander graduates.

CSU-related expenditures create over $13 billion in economic impact. We support over 207,000 jobs in California. The state reaps a four-fold benefit from every dollar it invests in the CSU.

The CSU also surpasses all other universities in California when it comes to preparing students for the workforce. The CSU prepares the most students in industries such as engineering, business, agriculture, criminal justice, social work, public administration, and education.

We all know that the strength of California’s tourism industry relies upon a highly trained hospitality workforce. But not many people are aware of the major impact that the CSU has on the tourism industry.

Systemwide, the CSU produces 76 percent of the total degrees in tourism and natural resources. This includes 100 percent of the state’s degrees in specialized areas such as natural resources management and policy, wildlife and wildlands management, and parks, recreation and leisure studies.

In other key areas of tourism such as hospitality services management, the CSU produces the vast majority of graduates – 160 out of the state’s 193 graduates in that field.

Here at the Collins School, which is consistently ranked among the top programs in North America, more than 90 percent of each year's graduating class accepts management positions before graduation.

Working with Industry

We are always looking for ways that we can work more closely with our partner industries and help our students become better prepared for the workforce.
I hope that you will share your thoughts with us today on:

  • How can we attract more students to the hospitality and tourism industries?

  • What can we do to make sure our students are better prepared to meet the challenges of the workforce?

  • How can we forge better partnerships with the tourism industry?

I hope that you will help us brainstorm on ways that the CSU and its campuses can partner with your companies on scholarships, internships, career fairs, job shadowing, or job placement assistance.

We anticipate that this can be just the beginning of an ongoing discussion of how we can better prepare students for this field – and continue to strengthen California’s tourism industry.

I am looking forward to hearing from all of you during our discussion.

Thank you again for joining us here today.

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